A Quasar Progress Pride Flag will be painted on Isham Road in Blue Back Square this summer.
By Ronni Newton
On Friday, June 12, nearly midway through Pride Month and purposely on the day marking the fourth anniversary of the massacre of many members of the LGBTQ community at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, FL, the Pride Flag was raised in Goodman Green in West Hartford Center.
A crowd, all wearing masks, many of which were adorned with rainbows, gathered for the morning flag-raising ceremony. The Pride Flag will remain flying along with the American flag throughout the rest of the month.
#WestHartford celebrated #PrideMonth2020 Friday morning with raising of the pride flag on Goodman Green! @TownofWestHrtfd @WeHaHumanRights #WeHa pic.twitter.com/P42JJs8yCr
— We-Ha.Com (@WeHartford) June 12, 2020
Barry Walters, co-chair of the West Hartford Human Rights Commission and a member of the West Hartford Pride Planning Committee said that while he was disappointed that the Pride Festival planned for June 27 in Blue Back Square needed to be canceled this year, “this year we are going to go to a virtual format and we are going to be doing most of our programming … online.” Details will be posted on the West Hartford Pride Facebook page.
“These times are not normal, nor have they ever really been where we should be as normal,” Walters said.
Mayor Shari Cantor presented Walters with a proclamation declaring June 2020 as “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Month,” calling on the community to eliminate prejudice and to celebrate its diversity.
“It is so important to support each other, to stand for each other, to listen to each other, to truly try to understand and learn,” Cantor said, thanking Walters for his leadership.
“He is working really hard to make Pride a bigger symbol, a bigger event, a bigger statement in our town,” she said.
Walters shared the exciting announcement: A permanent statement in support of West Hartford’s commitment to LGBTQ Pride will soon appear in Blue Back Square. “It will be a crosswalk but not really a crosswalk. It’s going to be the Quasar with 11 colors.”
The Quasar Progress Pride Flag, designed by Daniel Quasar, incorporates the stripes of the Pride Flag with a chevron that includes brown and black stripes to represent communities of color, as well as pink, light blue, and white – which are the traditional colors of the Transgender Pride Flag. The Quasar will be painted on the street in front of Cheesecake Factory and Barnes and Noble in Blue Back Square this summer.
Before the flag was raised, Aaron Scott and Carl Delmolino, members of the Connecticut and Hartford Gay Men’s Choruses performed for the crowd.
Scott noted that many of the struggles touch both the LGBTQ community and the communities of those of color. “They are undeniably intertwined,” he said. “We celebrate our strengths and contributions in the midst of persecution, and take pride in being our truest selves. … Pride was not even possible without the inclusion of our black brothers and sisters.”
Scott, who is black, said he feels a moral obligation to uplift and stand for both of his communities. “Shouldn’t we all?” he asked, eliciting applause and cheers from the crowd.
“Black Lives Matter. I am what I am,” Scott said, as he and Delmolino joined their voices together to perform the song “I Am What I Am.”
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